I’ve seen now fourteen startups going through our program since we got our accelerator started back in 2015. We are asked many times how we choose the companies that eventually join our program. What I have witnessed and learnt with the time is the importance of having the right partner to make something happen, therefore we invest some time finding out if the team behind the product is the right one to invest in. If you would like to deepen into the topic I recommend you to read Four Reasons To Invest In People, Not In Companies written by Ilya Pozin in Forbes.
Like every month, Anita Böhm and Florian Elbers organize their SEO meetings for online marketing rookies and experts. We’re starting 2017 with a specific tool: OnPage.org. The Munich-based company has established itself over the years as one of the essential tools for online marketers, along strong competitors such as SEMRUSH, Sistrix, or Ahrefs, among many others. Read more
Hamburg Startups: Can you introduce yourself in a few words to start off?
Thi Detert: My name is Thi Detert. I come from San Francisco, California. I moved to Hamburg because my husband and I really wanted to live abroad in Europe. We decided that since gaming is a rather niche field, wherever I got a good job offer is where we would move.
HS: What’s your role at InnoGames and how did you end up working there?
TD: I am the Team Lead of Game Design for the Forge of Empires team. I worked with a recruiter in San Francisco who helped me look for opportunities abroad. He told me about InnoGames, the opportunity sounded interesting, and the rest is history, as they say.
HS: What do you see as benefits from working for a start-up?
TD: I worked at several start-ups in San Francisco and always enjoyed it mainly because of the flexibility and fun culture. In start-ups, you usually have the opportunity to take on responsibilities not particular to your role, so you can learn a lot. Teams are smaller and work processes can move a lot faster. Every one works hard, but people don’t forget to have fun.
Even though InnoGames is a sizable company that is more professional and stable than any start-ups I worked at previously, the company still maintains many of the good things about start-ups I mentioned above.
HS: How do you like Hamburg as an expat?
TD: Since moving to Hamburg, many people here have asked me why I would ever leave San Francisco. True, San Francisco is one of the best cities in the world, though I may be a bit biased, but I really like Hamburg and I am having a great time living here. I love the lake, the canals and all the greenery you can find here in the spring and summer. The public transportation system in Hamburg is better than San Francisco’s. Hamburg is cleaner and prettier in a lot of ways, and, overall, it feels safer. Though it’s not particular to just Hamburg, I’ve really enjoyed experiencing the different seasons since California has mainly one season. It’s also really nice that Hamburg is a nice jumping off point for travel around Europe, and that’s one of the main reasons why I wanted to live abroad—to experience the world more.
I do miss the California sunshine and warmer weather sometimes, and I wish Hamburg had more diverse and authentic food selections from other cultures like in San Francisco.
HS: As non-native speakers of German, how were your first days in Hamburg?
TD: I didn’t have many difficulties getting along in Hamburg when I first moved here. There were some moments in the first few months where I found myself unable to communicate effectively with the staff at restaurants or shops, but mostly everyone can speak English to some degree, and as I picked up more German, it got easier. I’m embarrassed to say, though, that after almost 2 years of living in Hamburg, I’m only A2 level in German. InnoGames offers language courses that meet once a week, so that helped me get going with learning German. Since the official language of InnoGames is English, I don’t need to speak German, so I don’t get that practice. I know it’s up to me to improve my German, so given that it’s the New Year, this is one of my resolutions.
HS: Thank you for your time and your answers, Thi!
InnoGames is a Hamburg startup, founded in 2007. They are specialised in online games and have gathered millions of players. Check our Startup Monitor for more information about InnoGames and their job offers.
What’s the next hot stuff in media? How we will be communicating in the upcoming years? Which social media channels are going to survive? Which tools are journalist going to use? How the role of the journalist is going to evolve? How are we going to be able to detect fake news? Are we going to be constrained to pay for good content? Is user generated video, 360, IA, VR, AR the next big thing? We still have no answer to many of these questions, however we can witness, learn and sometimes even foresee.
Along the banks of the Elbe River, near the fish market, there is a small coworking space. It’s easily missed in the ironically-named backstreet Buttstraße, yet any entrepreneur knows that hard work needs no glitter. This is where we met Timm Wienberg, co-founder of Pacemo. Read more
In the world of startups, download speed, connectivity, and servers status are key words. Most startups rely on their online presence to attract early customers and many even offer their full services exclusively online. As such, having a strong Internet connectivity and a fast debit is essential. How does Hamburg compare to the rest of Germany and worldwide? Read more
There are two schools of thoughts when it comes to moving abroad. Either you pick a place to live before moving to the country and hope for the best about the accommodation and its surroundings. Or you move in first, live in a more or less temporary shelter until you find a suitable long-term place to dwell. Both have pros and cons and really depend on how flexible you can be, and whether you travel alone or with a family. I like the move in, then improvise option, but it is a matter of taste and, in the end, essentially of luck. Read more
Marina Stechmann, née Sanchez, has been living in Hamburg for the past four years. The 30-year-old Frenchwoman was visiting a friend in Hamburg in spring 2012 who was getting married. She was only supposed to stay a few days to help with preparations but she “fell in love with the city and because I did not really have any perspectives back in France, I decided to do something daft. Let’s stay in Hamburg and see what happens!” Read more
2016 was not very popular everywhere, on the contrary. But because we do not deal with wars, crises, and idols that passed away too soon, but with the Hamburg startup scene, we allow ourselves to draw our own 2016 wrap-up. Granted, it’s abridged and subjective,but before anything else, we want to finish on a positive note!